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Thursday, 19 February - link

let casual encounters go

minutes before I leave for London. I'm travelling, tired. Not searching. I'm going to see people I've met. Maybe some new friends in between. But not explicitly heading off into the random.

I realized today - I spend most of my time distracted, running around tasking things that aren't core projects. Not writing books, not seriously considering the nature of all being, not preparing myself for next-stage adulthood. Except that I'm living, except that I am inquiring, constantly. So I'm serious about this inbetween nonwork. When it comes time to explicitly produce, to generate bits for the economy, I steal a few moments from the flow, from the fast passage, to write something. And damn I bang it out. Most times. I don't know if all writers are like this. But I mostly certainly work this way. Distract, observe, research, side-project, phone conversation, and then it all feeds into a hyper meatgrinder to make media life analysis sausage.

And over time, it appears to me that this work life I'm practicing is work life that allows me to mix up my days like this. Where a trip to the doctor, and the notes I take there, somehow complement my understanding of modern citizenship and so I keep it all and mix it in somehow, maybe. Or maybe not. The fleeting moments. The smiles. The nice woman next to me on the plane now. These are photos to be taken? Notes to scribble? Names to note? Dates to arrange? I can take it so seriously, signposting and postholing specific moments back to back fulfillment. But it's tiring! To push each encounter to evolve. In that moment, to test limits, to see if this person randomly at your side might not be the key to greater understanding.

Inevitably, most people are [a key to greater understanding]. But I'm working to let casual encounters go. To let the smiling woman in the elevator be just a time for observation. To pass the time with an old friend without hyperactively planning projects. To see what is. Not what desire might be slaked.

And to remember that one of the reasons to let these things pass without plumbing their potential is because I have an enormous amount of work to do and relationships in progress. And I'm trying to visualize it as finite - that my works leads up to March, and March is full. But April? April has nothing but rain and walking and nothing. Maybe an article or two. But definitely, still, some emptiness. I desire emptiness!

Posted on 19 February 2004 : 19:09 (TrackBack)
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Justin's Links, by Justin Hall.